PEOPLE 345 – GOING TO WORK 75 (MONO)

 

 


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Going to work, standing alone at the bus stop.  In a world of traffic noise, exhaust fumes and the stop’s prosaic lists of routes, destinations and (hoped for) times. 

But, as always, the phone provides an alternative reality, an escape from it all. 

The cars crawl slowly past, edging forwards at less than walking pace towards Bristol Bridge.  The bus may be sometime.

Earlier images from this series can be found here: 1, 2, 3, 45, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 1213, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 2324, 25, 26, 27, 28,  29, 30,  31,  32, 33  34  35  36 37  38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45  46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 Each will open in a separate window.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto that image to enlarge it yet again – recommended.

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 1600 ISO; Lightroom; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Film Noir 3 preset and adding a tone; Baldwin Street, central Bristol; 9 Sept 2016.
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STILL LIFE 237 – MAN ON A BRIDGE

 

 


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Reflection of a man pulling a wheeled bag across a bridge.  The body of the bridge is black, and the paler structures through which the man is walking are the bridge’s guard rails.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window.

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 123mm (equiv); 800 ISO; spot metering; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; rotated; Bristol harbourside; 20 Jan 2017.
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PEOPLE 344 – GOING TO WORK 74

 

 


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An old and very dear friend of mine is a professional psychologist and avid people-watcher.  Her insights into everyday human behaviour never cease to fascinate and amaze me.  I had the idea sometime back of giving her a photobook of the Going To Work images (produced via Blurb) for her birthday, and that project is moving ahead.  In the course of assembling these pictures for use in her book, I have found six images that have not been posted in the Going To Work series but which really belong there, and so I am going to start incorporating them into this series here.  This is the first of the six.

ORIGINAL TEXT

Morning rush hour, central Bristol; 19 July 2016.

Early morning sunlight blasts down Baldwin Street, bringing out the textures on a dented and dirty car (for which, in my world, read eminently characterful car).

And the driver, who is late and who does not have any time at all to waste, bites his nails and stares anxiously ahead at the stacked up, stationary traffic.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window – recommended.

X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 1600 ISO; Lightroom.

UPDATE

This picture was taken on the first of my early morning bus trips into Bristol city centre which, on the 19th of this month, will have been two years ago – how Time rushes by!  This was the morning when I took the first of the Going To Work images, although the concept of such a photo series hadn’t then occurred to me.

Two things get to me about this picture. First of course, is the man’s body language – he’s in a hurry and in a traffic jam – bad news!

The second thing is that, for quite sometime now, when out photographing I look for good light and then try to decide what to do with it.  As I’m writing this post, its a warm summer’s day, but the total overcast has made the light flat and featureless – there are no shadows, except those below the parked cars.  This sort of lighting is fine for taking shots of detail, and for some portraits and abstracts, but I like chiaroscuro, a term that started off being used with regard to paintings, and which describes the effects on contrasting light and shadow in an image.  And in this picture I’m looking at the early morning light glancing along the dirty and dented bodywork of the car.  I really like the textures and shadows that this warm, glancing light reveals, and there is something else  – this is Reality, this is not some auto magazine’s shot of a spotless, pristine and shining car >>> car porn! >>>  this is what Life is really like, warts and all.

Earlier images from this series can be found here: 1, 2, 3, 45, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 1213, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 2324, 25, 26, 27, 28,  29, 30,  31,  32, 33  34  35  36 37  38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45  46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 Each will open in a separate window.

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STILL LIFE 235 – CAR DOOR

 

 


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Close in with a car door.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto that image to enlarge it yet again.

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom; Bristol harbourside; 14 July 2016.
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STILL LIFE 234 – MOORING ROPES (MONO)

 

 


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Mooring ropes against a ship’s rail.

Click onto the image to open it in another window, and click onto that image to enlarge it.

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 200 ISO; Lightroom; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Film Noir 3 preset, and adding a light coffee tone; Capture NX2, for rotation and cropping; Bristol harbourside; 14 Jul 2016.
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STILL LIFE 233 – GREEN VAN

 

 


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The back of a green van showing one of its stoplights, which has reflections of a tree and clouds.  And there is a door hinge, showing a little patch of blue.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto that image to enlarge it yet again – recommended.

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 123mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom; Bristol harbourside; 14 July 2016.
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PEOPLE 343 – GOING TO WORK 73

 

 


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Walking to work across Bristol Bridge, around sunrise in early December – and three things to talk about here.

First, I’m on her radar.  Although I was quite far back with a big telephoto, she looked up from her phone, the autofocus was already locked on (more on that below) and I fired a single frame. Awhile back, I’d planned to approach people in the street and ask their permission to photograph them.  But, although that may be something for the future, I’ve only actually done that once so far, and the resulting image was really not very good.  On the other hand, as those familiar with this Going To Work series will know, I’ve taken many more or less candid portraits on Bristol’s streets – and I like these better.

With this kind of photography, there’s often the fear/worry that people will object to having their photograph taken but, so far, the only comments that I’ve received have been apologies for getting in the way and obstructing my shots!  This may of course be due to the fact that I’m photographing early in the morning rush hour: the vast majority of people appear totally focused on getting to work, walking head down and with fixed expressions.  However, if someone were to say something, I would smile and say something simple like “Hello, I’m Adrian Lewis, and I’m here photographing the morning rush hour.”, and then await their response – putting the ball in their court in a way.  I’ve read a lot about this sort of photography, and the key strategies seem to be openness, an air of confidence, a smile and a readiness to explain further about what I’m doing.  I always carry some FATman Photos business cards to give out if necessary – although up to now these have been given to people who see me photographing anything and everything, and are just interested to see the sorts of photographs I take.

Secondly, the early morning was not bright, and the (now 10 years old!) D700 was working at its highest ISO – 25,600!  And so this picture, even though its not cropped, is extremely grainy – lol! >>> click onto it to see what I mean!!!  But I’m quite happy to have the grain and, in any case, I think that its ALWAYS better to have a go at a photo, no matter how poor the light conditions >>> its ALWAYS better to have a technically imperfect image than no image at all.  I strongly believe a photo’s subject matter / content is what matters, with technical aspects of the images coming quite some way second.

Third, I started digital photography as a full-frame Nikon user (D700, D800), but in the last couple of years have started using Fujifilm mirrorless cameras, including the excellent X-T2.  Most of the Going To Work pictures have been taken with my X-T2 or, indeed, my X-T1, and they have done a very good job.  But, if pressed, I would have to say that the Nikons are better for very rapid autofocus in poor lighting conditions.  But, you pays your money and you takes your choice!!!  The Nikons are bigger, bulkier, heavier, and their optical viewfinders – in most situations – are not as useful as the big, electronic viewfinders on the Fuji cameras.  And the Fuji cameras take beautiful pictures, and are smaller, lighter and very easy to handle.  For the moment, at least, I’m using the Fuji cameras a lot, but also holding onto my Nikon gear.  And, finally, Nikon (or Canon) is likely to produce a mirrorless replacement for their DSLRs soon: I’m looking forward to seeing this.

Earlier images from this series can be found here: 1, 2, 3, 45, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 1213, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 2324, 25, 26, 27, 28,  29, 30,  31,  32, 33  34  35  36 37  38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45  46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 Each will open in a separate window.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window >>> and if you have a thing for grain, click onto this enlarged image to enlarge it yet again!

Technique: D700 with 70-330 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 25,600 ISO; Lightroom; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Film Noir 2 preset and adding a light coffee tone; Bristol Bridge, central Bristol; 2 Dec 2016.
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PEOPLE 342 – GOING TO WORK 72

 

 


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On the way to work:  walking up towards Bristol Bridge, early on a summer’s morning.

Earlier images from this series can be found here: 1, 2, 3, 45, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 1213, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 2324, 25, 26, 27, 28,  29, 30,  31,  32, 33  34  35  36 37  38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45  46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 Each will open in a separate window.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto that image to enlarge it further.

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 200 ISO; Lightroom, using tilting and the Provia/Standard film simulation; near Bristol Bridge, central Bristol; 19 July 2016.
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PEOPLE 341 – GOING TO WORK 71

 

 


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The walk to work: cold sunrise, Bristol Bridge, mid November.

Earlier images from this series can be found here: 1, 2, 3, 45, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 1213, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 2324, 25, 26, 27, 28,  29, 30,  31,  32, 33  34  35  36 37  38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45  46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 Each will open in a separate window.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto that image to enlarge it yet again.

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom, using the Astia/Soft film simulation; Bristol Bridge, central Bristol; 11 Nov 2016.
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ARCHIVE 364 – INSIDE THE FLOWER OF A DOG ROSE

 

 


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Inside the flower of a Dog Rose.

I ought to know what the tall structures are but, as I firmly bade farewell to studying anything botanical in 1968, I’m unsure.  Stamens maybe?   ….. I’m more sure of one who will know the answer …. wonder who that can be??? …….. ?

Getting away from reality – oh, that’s better!!! …. –  the blurred dark element almost reaching the lower right corner, and a similar dark object diametrically across the flower’s centre, look like slim, beating wings.  And the blurred, slightly greenish “thing”(!) in the lower left corner might be a beak – so is this some exotic bird in flight, with bizarre and erect plumes on its back?

And if you don’t believe that such feathers exist, search Google’s images for flight shots of breeding plumage male Standard-winged Nightjars – and I have a feeling there are other examples in the Far East and South America too.  Ah, signs of a misspent youth …

The rose’s petals are pale, and serve as a diffuse backdrop.

Click onto the image to open another version in a separate window, and click onto that image to enlarge it.

Technique: D700 with 105mm Nikkor lens; 6400 ISO; our back garden, Bristol; 24 June 2013.

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